Monastery Raca and the spring of Ladjevac are great day trip destinations to anyone around Bajina Basta/ National Park Tara region.
You can decide if you want to make a day out of it and hike around the whole area or if you just have a few hours to spear and would still like to see the main sights.
We decided the second option as it was more convenient. The area is beautiful especially during the fall. The leafs are all in different colours and it gives a nice variations to the mountains.
In the following you can find out more about the area, take a look at the pictures and watch the YouTube video, if you’re interested!
Monastery Raca (Манастир Рача)
It is very old, the first monastery (before it was destroyed over and over again) was from the 13th century. In fact, it is so old that Columbus hadn’t even discovered America until 100 years later. It’s hard to grasp really.
Monastery Raca (Racha) is a Serbian Orthodox monastery which is located less than a 10-kilometer car ride away from the city center of Bajina Basta. According to Serbian history, the monastery was founded by the Serbian King Stefan Dragutin at the end of the 13th century. During its existence it was burned to the ground many times by Turks while being under the Ottoman Empire until the beginning of the 19th century. The current building is from the beginning of the 19th century. In addition, it was robbed twice, once by Germans and second time by Bulgarians. After each time it was ruined, it was built back up again with no signs of destruction.
“it is so old that Columbus hadn’t even discovered America until 100 years later. It’s hard to grasp really.”
According to Discover Serbia, it’s one of the most visited sites in Tara National Park with thousands of visitors every year. The visitors are mainly tourists but also locals as it’s used for weddings as well. In fact, a wedding had just finished when we arrived to the site.
The church is an important part of the Serbian culture and history because it stored all the important books from the Serbian literature, including the oldest book written in Serbian (Miroslav gospel). This and more were completed by the refugee monks that were able to guard the language and rewrite the books and manuscripts. Moreover, the grounds of the monastery have buried several rulers and dignitaries.
I was so upset I got to know about this place this late as my parents were here last year and I know my mum would’ve love to visit it here. She loves everything nature-related and peaceful.
Educational hiking path Raca
If you’re into hiking, keep on reading but if not, just skip these instructions and move onto the next part.
The walking track Raca is a bit over 2 km long starting from the monastery all the way to the spring of Ladjevac. It takes around 40 minutes to complete so regarding distance and time it is easy. Make sure you keep on the right side of the river and follow the marked trees and signs all the way to Ladjevac spring. There are benches and tables every now and then so taking it easy is possible. After the gravel road about a half a kilometer the path continues to the forest.
If you’re not into walking you can drive closer to the spring and only walk around 10 minutes. If you decide to take this option, just drive on the right side of the river and take the first road to your left and then just straight.
If you continue the walk you should be able to make a circle and end up back near the monastery but then the length of the track is a lot longer.
In some of the websites it says that you can make a circle around the spring which will take you from Raca to Ladjevac and back which is around 40km. Now, I wouldn’t recommend doing this and here is the reason why – We started the ‘hike’ from the left side and were thinking to complete the circle by following the marked trees. However, when we reached the middle of the track there was a short bridge that should’ve been crossed in order to continue. This turned out being really dangerous, as soon as Marko stepped on it, he slipped, and the handrail fell off completely. The bridge is rotten and really slippery when wet so wouldn’t recommend risking it. We turned back and drove closer to the spring from the other end. There you can easily reach the spring and you only have to walk a few hundred meters. I would say it’s safe even for expecting mothers or elderly people.
On both sides of the river there are picnic sites with tables and benches, the barbecue and drinking fountain.
The spring of Ladjevac is a beautiful settings with multiple tiny waterfalls and springs in the middle of forest. The best time to visit is the fall when all the leafs are in different colors.
The water is very clean. You can drink it from the spring so make sure to carry a few water bottles with you. Moreover, the water is said to help in the treatment of eye and skin diseases so make sure to splash it on you as well!
After our trip we drove to the national park Tara to visit our friends and enjoy a nice Serbian lunch.
Overall, it was a great weekend!
Let me know if you’re planning a trip here by sending me an email or PM through Instagram below. Talk soon!OTHER SIGHTS IN BAJINA BAŠTA